The Thousand Pities formed around the songwriting and ears of Matthew Davis. In the late '80s and early '90s, Davis fronted the Western Massachusetts band The Vestrymen, whose pair of independent records (on Absolute A-Go-Go and Vertebrae Records) garnered ecstatic reviews and plenty of college-radio airplay. After seven years of Econoline van touring — and sharing stages with acts like Aimee Mann's 'Til Tuesday, American Music Club, Robyn Hitchcock, Green Day and Belly — Davis called it a day in 1994, retiring his brand of jangly-guitar power-pop and heading off in non-musical directions.

The Thousand Pities

The Thousand Pities      (Photo by: Sharon O'Brien)

In 2006, after a dozen years trying to ignore the songs that kept knocking on the door of his musical id, Davis began playing, writing and recording again, recruiting old bandmates and new friends from his adopted New Jersey home turf to contribute their talents. The result is The Thousand Pities, whose personnel includes guitarist Michael Carlucci (formerly of N.J. college-radio darlings Winter Hours and current leader of East Of Venus, which also features members of The Feelies and The Bongos), keyboardist Billy Donohue (another former Vestryman, who has also played with John Cale, Inger Lorre and New Brunswick/Jersey shore favorites The Blasés) and drummer Ken Meyer (of long-lived New York City group Life In A Blender). Rounding out The Pities' sound are guitarist/singer Matt Friedlander (whose résumé includes N.J.-based indie-rockers Painted Birds and garage-bashers The Miscreants) and newest addition bassist/vocalist Jimmy Francis (of label-mates The Static Sea).

The Thousand Pities' debut album, BELIEVE IN SOUND (OverPop Music), was released in the spring of 2011. The band is truly grateful for the sonic contributions of some very talented friends, including beat master Stan Demeski (The Feelies, Luna) and singers Deena Shoshkes (The Cucumbers), Briga Heelan, Aviva Patz and Lane Gardner. BELIEVE IN SOUND is available in both old-school CD and ultra-modern download form. Live dates - primarily in the band's native Northeastern USofA - are always being lined up - check back frequently for the updated schedule!

But wait! Who Are "The Parkway Charlies"???

The Thousand Pities have recorded a handful of covers and tributes under the name of their alter-ego: The Parkway Charlies. Among these is a version of "4:04" that is featured on the deluxe edition of the compilation CIAO MY SHINING STAR: THE MUSIC OF MARK MULCAHY, which came out in September 2009. Other contributors to this worthy collection included Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Michael Stipe (R.E.M.), Frank Black (Pixies), A.C. Newman (New Pornographers) and The National. Meanwhile, The Parkway Charlies' rendition of "Ten Minutes" graces the late-2008 compilation A FEW UNEVEN RHYMES: A TRIBUTE TO WINTER HOURS, which also includes tracks featuring members of The Violent Femmes, Nada Surf and The Feelies. (See video of live Charlies performances)

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